The Feast of St Catherine, Zejtun Malta 2012: A story of an incredible woman who fought for what she believed in till the end!
The feast of St Catherine in Zejtun is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Therefore in 2012, the feast is going to be held on the 17th of June.
This popular feast used to be held in November. However, in 1990 it was decided to move the date of this town’s festa to June.
The festa ta' Santa Katerina (as it’s known in Maltese) is organized by the Zejtun Parish Church. In Zejtun, you’ll find two brass band clubs, namely the Beland Band Club and the Zejtun Band Club.
These two band clubs play an important role in the festa by playing their much loved marches during the days preceding the festa and more importantly on the day of the festa!
These clubs are also responsible for adding new ideas to the festa program, in an effort to keep it vibrant and improve and enhance the feast further.
Zejtun (which also holds the title of Citta’ Beland) has its very own fireworks factory which is called the 25th of November.
This club is responsible for all the fireworks displays that you see during the festa. Work on these displays takes months and months of diligent preparation since they are an integral part of the feast of St Catherine.
The festa street decorations in Zejtun are truly something to behold! So if you’re visiting this town during festa time, be sure to take your camera with you!
Feast of St Catherine: Who was St Catherine?
Catherine was a noble, beautiful girl from Alexandria in Egypt who had strong Christian beliefs.
When Emperor Maximinus ordered that everyone had to bring gifts to the temple for the gods, with great courage she confronted the Emperor. The Emperor had issued this order so that he'd be in a better position to identify who was Christian and who wasn’t.
Those that did not go to the temples (to worship pagan gods), were identified as Christians and were therefore arrested or killed.
When Catherine scorned the Emperor for his doings, she was taken to the Emperor’s palace. Maximinus summoned some of his best philosophers to confute what Catherine was saying about the Christian faith. But to his amazement, Catherine won every argument that she had with the philosophers.
The Emperor was furious and killed all the philosophers.
Mesmerized by her beauty, wisdom and courage, the Emperor tried to seduce Catherine and offered her a royal marriage if she denied her Christian faith. When she rejected his advances and proposal, he put her in prison.
While in prison, St Catherine managed to convert to the Christian faith the Emperor’s wife, a few high officials and some soldiers. As soon as the Emperor got to know of this, they were all put to death!
Catherine was sentenced to death by the “spiked wheel”. This was a popular torture device in those days. However, it is said that the spiked wheel broke when she touched it! St Catherine was subsequently beheaded.
Festa ta' Santa Katerina: What you’ll experience …
- a whole town decorated especially for the festa
- hear wonderful brass band marches
- see fantastic fireworks displays
- savour traditional Maltese festa food
- experience the devotion that the locals have for their patron saint
- much more!
For more information on this popular feast, contact the Zejtun Parish Office on Tel. No. ++ 356 21 694563 or send them an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
If you're going to Zejtun by bus, go to www.arriva.com.mt to determine which bus route to choose, depending on your departure location.
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